There are two main questions people typically ask us when it comes to their budget for marketing:
1. How much should I be spending on marketing each year?
2. Where should I invest my marketing dollars?
What to Spend on Marketing
The consensus seems to be that companies in most industries should be spending about 3-5% of their budget on marketing, however, if a company is looking to grow significantly, that number should go up to anywhere between 6-10%. The most important thing that should be noted here is that even if you’re simply looking to maintain your current level of success, you have to dedicate a certain percent to marketing (1-3%). However, if you’re looking for any sort of growth, a marketing budget is one of those areas where you simply cannot cut corners. You can have the most beautiful, elaborate, and detailed business plan in the world, but if you haven’t dedicated at least 2-3% toward marketing, you’ve likely got a serious problem on your hands. It’s like building a brand new car and trying to drive it without fuel. Marketing is fuel.
Where to Invest Marketing Dollars
We all know there are effective and ineffective forms of marketing, and just as destructive as no marketing budget at all is a marketing budget that’s been misdirected or abused. Although all kinds of marketing can theoretically do your brand some good through top of the funnel exposure, we believe it’s important to invest in marketing that is sustainable.
Sustainable marketing is marketing that supports itself over time. In other words, the best kind of investment is the kind of investment where you always get something back that is measurable and reusable in the future. Contrary to what some believe, marketing doesn’t have to be a wild gamble or risk. There is such a thing as a wise marketing investment. Look at proven strategies that have data to back them up; inbound marketing and strategic social media promotions are two solid investments when executed properly.
At WindFarm, we do try to fill the top, middle and bottom of the marketing funnel, but we spend our energy and money on the kinds of impressions that have some lasting power we can count. So, a Facebook like, an email opt-in, and premium content behind a form, etc. are all good options that are measurable, resuable assets that have been purchased with that marketing budget and allow us future personal access to that potential customer at any given point, because they’ve voluntarily allowed us to put our content in front of them in their more sacred spaces of a news feed and inbox.
So, just as important as having a marketing budget is investing it wisely in the right kind of marketing. As you get ready for the next year, make sure you’ve set the right goals, set aside the right budget for marketing, and asked yourself the important questions about how you’re going to track and measure your marketing efforts. Invest in success by investing in sustainable marketing that will multiply your efforts and truly work to drive business.